NEWARK, Del. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tells University of Delaware graduates to be open to the possibilities their future holds.

Christie picked up an honorary degree Sunday when he returned to his alma mater to give the winter commencement address.

Christie, who graduated in 1984, was lauded as “a bold reformer” by A. Gilchrist Sparks III, chairman of the school’s board of trustees.

During his address, Christie told 1,334 graduates that freedom is the courage to look beyond life’s traditional paths.

The 48-year-old governor has warm memories of his time at UD. He met his future wife there and got his political start as student body president.

Christie gave the commencement address in 2004 while serving as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and was elected to the Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame last year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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